Don Lemon is speaking out after President Donald Trump pushed a baseless birther theory about Sen. Kamala Harris. On Thursday, Lemon opened his CNN broadcast with a scathing monologue condemning the president's "disgusting, racist," attack on Harris, who on Tuesday was announced to be Joe Biden's vice presidential running mate.”
"Every day it's like the Groundhog's Day for alternative realities," said @donlemon on President Trump's latest news briefing.August 14, 2020
"Every single day, another lie, another conspiracy theory, another racist dog whistle…It is clear that this president will stop at nothing to try to win re-election, using everything at his disposal to achieve his goal," Lemon said at the start of the program. "He's using the podium in the White House briefing room, that you pay for, to lie to you. And he's starting with birtherism. Can you believe it? Is it 2011 all over again? What is going on? Birtherism now against Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's vice presidential nominee who is a Black woman. Does that ring a bell to you?"
Earlier in the day, Trump, who had pushed similar birther theories against former President Barack Obama, was asked about an op-ed written by John C. Eastman, a Republican lawyer, that claimed Harris may not be eligible for vice president due to her parents' citizenship status when she was born. While Harris' parents were immigrants, she was born in Oakland, California and meets the Constitution's requirements to serve as vice president or president, making birther theories entirely baseless. Trump, however, had praised Eastman as "a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer" and stated that the claims against Harris were "very serious."
After playing a clip of Trump's comments, Lemon slammed him, stating that the president "is so full of it" and that he should know "better than that." Lemon went on to question, "Shouldn't he have a modicum of decency and class to just say, 'Look, come on, let's talk about something real. A lot of people have died from the coronavirus. That's serious. Kamala Harris is on the vice presidential ticket. Move along.'"
Lemon later admitted that he had initially considered "ignoring" the president's "dumb, stupid conspiracy theory," though he realized that he could not "simply let the ugliness go unchallenged." He said, "a white man questioning a black woman's birthplace in America in 2020. No other words but disgusting, racist, and purposely so."